A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed against actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly making false claims he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall’s ruling allows Chicago city officials to proceed with their bid to seek to recoup the $130,000 (£100,000) spent investigating Smollett’s story.
City law enforcement officials maintain they racked up almost 1,900 hours of overtime as they attempted to apprehend the alleged assailants Smollett insisted used racist and homophobic slurs and looped a noose around his neck, before fleeing.
The Empire star was indicted on 16 counts after it was alleged he had staged the hate attack on himself to drum up publicity, and he was later charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. However, he walked free from custody on 26 March (19) after all charges against him were dropped.
But city officials still refused to believe he was a victim and set about recouping the money they felt they had wasted on the investigation.
Smollett has denied faking the attack, and last month (Sept19) filed a motion asking for the city's lawsuit to be thrown out of court.
City officials say GPS data, video and other evidence prove Smollett paid the men he accused of attacking him to fake a hate crime.